Elizabeth Barber, the author of both Prehistoric Textiles

Question

Elizabeth Barber, the author of both Prehistoric Textiles, a comprehensive work on cloth in the early cultures of the Mediterranean, and also of Women's Work, a more general account of early cloth manufacture, is an expert authority on textiles in ancient societies.

Option A
Option B
Option C
Option D
Option E

(This question is from Official Guide. Therefore, because of copyrights, the complete question cannot be copied here. The question can be accessed at GMAT Club)

Solution

Sentence Analysis

Here’s the sentence structure:

  • Elizabeth Barber, (Main Subject)
    • the author of both (Modifier modifying the main subject. In technical terms, it is called an appositive)
      • Prehistoric Textiles,
        • a comprehensive work on cloth in the early cultures of the Mediterranean, (Modifier modifying “Prehistoric Textiles”. It is also an appositive)
      • and also of Women's Work,
        • a more general account of early cloth manufacture, (Modifier modifying “Women’s work”. Also, an appositive)
  • is an expert authority on textiles in ancient societies. (Main verb – “is”)

The sentence essentially says that Elizabeth Barber (EB) is an expert authority on textiles in ancient societies. The sentence also provides additional information about EB. EB is the author of two works: Prehistoric Textiles and Women’s Work. The capitalization of these phrases indicate that they stand for names. Women’s Work is a general account of early cloth manufacture wile Prehistoric Textiles is a comprehensive work on cloth in the early cultures of the Mediterranean.

The sentence has the following errors:

  1. In the idiom “Both X and Y”, X and Y need to be parallel. Here, “Prehistoric Textiles” and “also of Women’s Work” are not parallel to each other.
  2. Since both “expert” and “authority” communicate the same meaning, using both creates redundancy. This is not a deterministic error but a quality problem.

Option Analysis

(A) Incorrect. For the problems mentioned above.

(B) Incorrect. For the following problems:

  1. The correct idiom is “Both X and Y”. “Both X and also Y” is incorrect.
  2. “authority about” is incorrect. The correct version is “authority on”.
  3. “expert authority” is redundant.

(C) Incorrect. For the following reasons:

  1. Error no. 1 of the original sentence
  2. “account about X” is incorrect. The correct version is “account of X”.

(D) Incorrect. For the following reasons:

  1. Error no. 1 of the original sentence
  2. “account about X” is incorrect. The correct version is “account of X”.
  3. “authority about” is incorrect. The correct version is “authority on”.
  4. “expert authority” is redundant.

(E) Correct. This option corrects both the error and the problem in the original sentence. Please observe that “more” has been used without “than” in this sentence. Such use is acceptable when the “than” part is obvious from the context. Here, it is obvious that we are saying that Women’s Work is a more general account than Prehistoric Text, which was a comprehensive work.

About Chiranjeev Singh

An Alumnus of IIM Ahmedabad and with scores of 780 (2017) and 770 (2013) on GMAT and 99.98%ile on CAT, Chiranjeev is one of the most qualified GMAT tutors in India. Chiranjeev has earlier served as Director of Curriculum at e-GMAT. Chiranjeev has been helping students ace GMAT since 2012. He follows a concept-based methodology to teaching GMAT and is very committed to student success. You may contact him for any private GMAT tutoring needs at CJ@GMATwithCJ.com. He conducts online sessions for students across the world.

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